Diagnosis of Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain diagnosis usually involves taking a medical history, including the history of symptoms, and performing a complete physical examination and diagnostic tests. A medical history includes information about the location, severity, and timing (e.g., right after eating) of the pain, how often it occurs, what worsens or improves the pain, and any additional symptoms.

Diagnostic tests that may be performed to help determine the cause for abdominal pain include blood, urine, and stool tests (to rule out certain diseases and conditions); imaging tests (e.g., ultrasound, x-rays, MRI scan, CT scan); barium enema; upper GI series; and endoscopy (allows the physician to view the inside of the digestive tract; e.g., colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 28 Feb 2008

Last Modified: 26 Aug 2015